We recognise that these times are unprecedented for local businesses. This is why we are putting together guidance for local employers and businesses to get back up and running and operating safely during the Covid-19 pandemic.
We will be running our own webinars as well as introducing you to webinars operating with local partners that you may find useful to attend. If you are unable to attend, where possible we will put up recordings of these sessions that can be watched at a later date. Please do remember that any guidance would have been given as per the date it was issued so may have been updated.
The Government has issued guidance covering eight workplace settings, which are allowed to be open. These include outdoor environments, construction sites, factories and take-aways, setting out practical steps for these businesses to focus on, which should be implemented as soon as possible. This also includes a printable notice that businesses can display to show they have followed this guidance.
- New guidance launched to help get people safely back to work – 5 Key Points
- Working Safely During Coronavirus (Covid-19) – 8 Guides by workplace
From 10 June, some additional businesses have been allowed to reopen. These include some non-essential retail, for example: Outdoor markets and Car Showrooms. Further businesses classed as non-essential retail will be allowed to open from 15 June. Further details to follow.
From 4 July businesses in the hospitality sector and some personal care sector businesses were allowed to resume trading.
Future dates for businesses being allowed to reopen are very much dependent on the infection and mortality rates continuing to reduce, as per the five-point plan put in place by the UK government.
Important Message for Businesses in Warwickshire
If you have two or more suspected or positive cases of Covid-19 among your employees please report these to Warwickshire Public Health at [email protected] immediately, (an out of hours number will be sent to you) AND Public Health England on 0344 225 3560.
Face coverings mandatory in shops and supermarkets in England
Face coverings are now required to be worn by most customers (please note some customers are exempt - see below) within shops and supermarkets and come in different formats e.g. bandanas, scarfs or homemade cloth. In the current COVID-19 pandemic they are mainly intended to protect others, (not the wearer) from the spread of Coronavirus droplets.
Under these rules, people who do not wear a face covering will face a fine of up to £100, in line with the sanction on public transport and just as with public transport, children under 11 and those with certain disabilities will be exempt. The liability for wearing a face covering lies with the individual.
However, at no point should face coverings give a false sense of security about protection by being seen as a replacement for social distancing, respiratory hygiene and regular hand washing.
Shop owners should be aware that not everyone must wear a face covering. For example, those with certain disabilities or children under the age of 11 are exempt as well as others listed in the face mask guidance document
Disposal of business waste – including PPE and face coverings
Key details include:
- Provide extra bins for your staff and customers to throw away their waste face coverings and PPE used for social distancing, and any other additional waste, such as takeaway packaging and disposable tableware;
- Make sure that staff and customers do not put face coverings and PPE in a recycling bin as they cannot be recycled through conventional recycling facilities;
- Make sure bins are emptied often so they do not overflow and create litter;
- You can put used disposable face coverings and PPE in an ‘offensive waste’ collection (yellow bags with a black stripe), if you have one; and
- Ask your waste contractor if there is anything else you need to do.
Covid-19: Advice from Warwickshire Fire & Rescue Service
As business owners begin to return to their places of work there will be a myriad of things they will need to consider and prepare for that are likely all centred around measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
The Fire Protection department have produced a booklet to help guide all business owners on how to keep their premises safe and compliant with regards to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. We want people to print these booklets and use them, annotate them and keep them with the rest of their fire safety documentation.
Another, important thing we are asking business owners to do is take 20-30 minutes to fill out our checklist questionnaire. Again, it is something we have produced, based on the booklet. However, by encouraging it's completion, we hope to prompt business owners to consider their fire safety responsibilities, and also gather information for ourselves on how businesses are coping. From the results we can potentially spot trends in areas that need our attention. Equally, we can see the areas that businesses are demonstrating a good understanding of and the information gathered will influence how we continue to work.
Please send any email correspondence to: [email protected]
Covid secure in the workplace webinars
Please find below a link to our Covid Secure in the Workplace webinar, which took place on 20 May. This was a Q&A session with WCC and partners.
Covid Secure in the Workplace – Retail and Shop Branches
This was a Q&A session involving a panel of local regulatory and public safety experts from Environmental Health, Trading Standards, Public Health, Town Centres, Fire and Police and the local authorities to provide key information and answer questions from businesses about the new government guidance and how it applies to their business.
Covid Secure in the Workplace – Hospitality and Personal Care – Webinar Q&A with Warwickshire County Council and Partners
This was a free webinar for businesses wanting to find out more about reopening and operating safely during the pandemic. A panel of local regulatory and public safety experts from Environmental Health, Trading Standards, Public Health, Town Centres, Fire and Police and the local authorities were online to provide key information and answer questions from businesses about the new government guidance and how it applies to their business. This session is aimed at businesses operating in hospitality and personal care, including barbers, hairdressers and nail bars.
Covid Secure - Hospitality and Licenced Premises Reopening - Information and Q&A Webinar with Warwickshire County Council and Partners
This was a free webinar for businesses in the hospitality sector, including licenced pubs, hotels and restaurants, and other hospitality businesses such as cafes that are able to reopen from July 4. A panel of local regulatory and public safety experts from Environmental Health, Trading Standards, Public Health, Town Centres, Fire and Police and the local authorities were online to provide key information and answer specific questions from businesses about the new government guidance and how it applies to their businesses. The webinar would also be of interest to organisations and individuals supporting the sector, such as BIDs.
This webinar covered topics such as Temporary Event Notices (TENs), use of outdoor spaces, partnership working, door staff, risk assessment and managing indoor space in a Covidsecure way, test and trace and support for staff.
COVID Secure in the Workplace Webinar – Business Resilience – Staying Open During the Pandemic
This webinar offers free advice and support or businesses reopening and operating safely during the current pandemic. Now that most businesses have reopened, this webinar considered some of the challenges businesses are having, best practice to attract back customers and avoid closure and local lock-down and maintaining business resilience at this time.
Topics covered include pavement licencing, face coverings and what is working well in our towns.
The Q&A panel consisted of a mix of local regulatory and public safety experts from Environmental Health, Trading Standards, Public Health, Town Centres, Fire and Police and the local authorities.
For any further information, please contact us on: [email protected]
Table and Chair Licences
The law on café licences is changing in late July 2020. This means the authority to issue table and chair licences will be transferred from Warwickshire County Council, to the district and borough councils.
Businesses can apply for a café (table & chair) licence under existing rules through the County Council now, or wait for the new Business and Planning Bill to come into force in late July, and apply for a 'Pavement Licence', which allows for other appropriate furniture to be used outside, from their local district council.
PPE - Buy Local #BuyEatLocal
Warwickshire County Council is encouraging firms to source their PPE from local suppliers, as part of the #BuyEatLocal Campaign. Our news article explains the #BuyEatLocal campaign and showcases a face covering supplier from Rugby, a maker of hand sanitiser from Stratford and a maker of signage from Nuneaton.
Local suppliers can be found on Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce COVID Recovery Hub and the Find it in CW Portal local Supplier list.
Please support our local businesses where you can:
Covid-19: Mental Health Service Information for Businesses and Staff
Last updated: 10 June
As businesses large and small begin to reopen there will be many new pressures and challenges faced by employers and employees. You or someone you know may be feeling anxious about getting back up and running and operating safely during the Covid-19 pandemic. This could be anyone in the business from employees to managers.
For small businesses and the self-employed, it may be a particularly stressful time. You might work for yourself or on your own, in an office or from home. We all go through ups and downs in life, and experience life changes that can affect our mental health. For many people, Covid-19 has been one of those times. Wherever you live, there are resources and services both national and local that you can access to find support with your mental wellbeing.
Every Mind Matters from Public Health England has tools and information to help you manage and maintain your mental health and wellbeing, as good mental health makes such a difference. It helps us to relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more.
Paying attention to workplace mental health has never been more important. Mental Health at Work is your gateway to documents, guides, tips, videos, courses, podcasts, templates and information from organisations across the UK, all aimed at helping you get to grips with workplace mental health and wellbeing.
If you live in Warwickshire, find information about mental health and wellbeing support services available to you here:
- Warwickshire Mental Health Service Information
- Support for people bereaved during the Covid-19 Pandemic
If you have been impacted financially there is financial information and support available.
If your employer is making redundancies, or you have recently been made redundant, you may be feeling increased levels of worry. Whether expected or sudden, redundancy can cause huge uncertainty, stress and anxiety, and can make existing mental health problems worse. National mental health charity Mind have some advice and guidance for coping with redundancy.
- Warwickshire Mental Health Service Information (PDF, 971 KB)
- Return to retail – advice for businesses (PDF, 590 KB)
- Slides from Risk Assessment webinar by Hosking Associates, hosted by WCC on 3 June (PDF, 1.2 MB)
- Five top tips for good workplace hygiene and infection control during the Covid-19 pandemic (PDF, 382 KB)
- Click and collect services advice for Warwickshire high street retailers (PDF, 165 KB)
- Return to work guidance from Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service
- Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce - Covid-19 Recovery Hub
Warwickshire County Council Extends EAP Employee Assistance Programme to Support Town Centre Businesses in Warwickshire
Warwickshire County Council allocates funding and works with its Employee Assistance Programme provider to extend help to employees and business leaders in town centre micro and small businesses:
The Covid-19 pandemic as we all know has caused upheaval and stress throughout the entire community. Warwickshire County Council and its local authority and business partners is doing what it can to support the economy and jobs in Warwickshire through its Economic Recovery Plan. We recognise that this has been a particularly difficult time for micro and small businesses operating in town centres. Small businesses like these do not have the HR departments that larger organisations have that can provide assistance around mental health and wellbeing to staff at times like this.
With this in mind, we are extending its internal Employee Assistance Programme to the employees and owners of micro and small businesses (with 10 or less employees) operating in the towns of Warwickshire who may need help. This includes access to information, support and guidance (including coaching and counselling where appropriate) on a wide range of topics including work/career, relationship/family, money management and debt and health and wellbeing.
The support will be available from 1st September 2020, and on an ongoing basis, subject to funding.
How to Access:
Those companies and individuals interested, can access the service by contacting [email protected] in the first instance and providing a name, contact phone number or email address, business name and postcode, to register with the EAP provider for the service who will then make contact.
- Visit Britain – Get ready to reopen
- Hospitality Reopening Guidance
- BSI – New guidance on safe working during the Covid-19 pandemic
- Health and Safety Executive - Working safely during the coronavirus outbreak – a short guide
- Health and Safety Executive - Social distancing, keeping businesses open and in-work activities during the coronavirus outbreak
- Health and Safety Executive - Risk assessments
- Chartered Institute of Environmental Health - Guides: safe shopping, downloadable signage links, food delivery, legionella
- New guidance on safe working during the Covid-19 pandemic
This page will be continuously updated as and when we receive new guidance/updates, so please do check back.